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A Boltzmann Constant Determination Based on Johnson Noise Thermometry



Nathan E. Flowers-Jacobs, Alessio Pollarolo, Kevin J. Coakley, Anna E. Fox, Horst Rogalla, Weston L. Tew, Samuel P. Benz


A value for the Boltzmann constant was measured electronically using an improved version of the Johnson Noise Thermometry (JNT) system at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), USA. This system is different from prior ones, including those from the 2011 determination at NIST and both 2015 and 2017 determinations at the National Institute of Metrology (NIM), China. As in all three previous determinations, the main contribution to the combined uncertainty is the statistical uncertainty in the noise measurement, which is mitigated by accumulating and integrating many weeks of cross-correlated measured data. The second major uncertainty contribution also still results from variations in the frequency response of the ratio of the measured spectral noise of the two noise sources, the sense resistor at the triple-point of water and the superconducting Quantum quantum Voltage voltage Noise noise Sourcesource (QVNS). In this paper, we briefly describe the major differences between our JNT system and previous systems, in particular the input circuit and approach we used to match the frequency responses of the two noise sources. After analyzing and integrating 49 days of accumulated data, we determined a value: k =1.380 642 9(69)x10^-23 J/K with a relative standard uncertainty of 5.0x10^(-6) and relative offset -4.05x10^(-6) from the CODATA 2014 recommended value.


Johnson Noise, Thermometry, metrology, superconductivity, boltzmann constant


Flowers-Jacobs, N. , Pollarolo, A. , Coakley, K. , Fox, A. , Rogalla, H. , Tew, W. and Benz, S. (2017), A Boltzmann Constant Determination Based on Johnson Noise Thermometry, Metrologia, [online], (Accessed June 18, 2024)


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Created August 10, 2017, Updated November 10, 2018